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Bengal Minister stokes debate over IT trade unionism

Written by: Staff

Kolkata, Oct 26(UNI) Even as Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee appears protective to the sunshine IT industry in West Bengal, his maverick colleague Subhash Chakraborty today created a flutter asserting that the sector should not be immune to trade unionism.

"I feel that trade unions should be formed in IT industry. It is a necessity given the widespread exploitation in the sector," he told reporters.

The remarks of Mr.Chakraborty, said to be a detractor of the chief minister in intra-party politics, added further grist to the ongoing debate over the issue after the CPI(M)-backed CITU recently formed an association to redress complaints by IT employees.

"There are people in the higher echelon of the industry whose wages are handsome. But most of the others are given a pittance.

This is a gross exploitation," Mr.Chakraborty said.

The debate within the Left over propriety to form trade unions in the IT industry gained momentum recently as political circle was abuzz with talks over possibility of a strike in the sector on December 14, the proposed date for the CITU-sponsored nationwide strike.

The state government took all measures to keep running the state's IT industry in the Salt Lake hub during the 12-hour Bangla bandh on October nine, called by Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee.

The chief minister, whose enterprise saw IT giants like IBM, Wipro, TCS and Cognizant to set foot on the state, had asserted that the government would initiate similar measures during the Left-sponsored strike as well.

But refusing to share his views, CITU state president Shyaml Chakraborty stoutly defended formation of the IT employees association as did a number of left trade union leaders. In a bid to allay apprehension over possible militancy in IT industry, Mr Chakraborty, however, said there was no question of confrontation in the industry if the employees were really well-treated.

"I don't know why such a hue and cry has been created. They have said in various newspapers and platforms that they are looking after the employees well and are giving all privileges. If so, there's no confrontation or any question of giving charter of demands," he said.


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